Since Facebook’s fateful acquisition of WhatsApp, the social media giant has yet to find a meaningful way to make money out of its darling purchase, which it has steadily grown to a mammoth sum of over a billion users.
While the social media company has launched WhatsApp for Business with the view of commercialising the platform, the firm has also laid plans to introduce paid adverts to the platform’s Status feature, which would target users through Facebook’s own advertising network.
However, a new report from the Wall Street Journal signals that Facebook has now delayed (if not belayed) its plan to introduce paid ads to the service, given user displeasure and company founder Mark Zuckerberg’s recent statements on privacy.
In a blog post in March 2019, Zuckeberg opined his plans to move Facebook towards publishing private and ephemeral communication instead of perennial posts.
“As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms… Today we already see that private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication,” Zuckerberg said at the time.
Given that conversations in WhatsApp are encrypted end-to-end (meaning that third parties cannot access them nor read them) Facebook has been unable to directly insert contextual adverts into chats – leaving it with the only option of promoting business chat services, or deploying ads in-between Story roll.
According to the Journal, Facebook will instead concentrate its efforts on building WhatsApp for Business, and while it hasn’t totally ruled out the prospect of paid ads appearing in its Story platform, the arrival of such content is unlikely – at least for now.
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